• Breaking: Many people and livestock perish as disaster hits Niger's desert city

    08/Sep/2016 // 405 Viewers

    At least 38 people have been killed and more than 92,000 left homeless since June in disastrous floods in Niger, the United Nations said Wednesday.

    The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the deaths, up from a previous government toll of 14, followed torrential rains in August.

    More than 26,000 livestock have been lost and more than 9,000 homes destroyed, the UN said, citing government figures.

    Authorities and NGOs have already given out aid to more than 50,000 people, the UN added, with many of the homeless sheltering in schools and public buildings.
     
    Despite being in the middle of the desert, Agadez in the north and Tahoua to the west are among the worst hit regions, along with Maradi in the south.

    Niger is in the midst of its annual rainy season, having struggled to overcome a severe food crisis caused by drought.

    One of the poorest countries on the planet, its authorities are also struggling with 300,000 refugees and internally displaced people who have fled the Boko Haram insurgency in Niger’s southeast and in neighbouring Nigeria.


    AFP


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  • 10 countries implement ECOWAS Common External Tariff

    08/Sep/2016 // 268 Viewers

     

    He said that member states were expected to implement the common tariff within five years, adding that the remaining five countries would begin implementation of the CET soon.

    “The CET came into force in January 2016; coming into force means all our member states are expected to implement it.

    “However, in the CET like every other policy, there must be some transition period; if you consider the fact that we have a five-year transition all of the countries are still within the five years.

    “The UEMOA countries already had a CET so when ECOWAS CET came on board, it was very easy for them because they were already practicing it and they took off immediately.


    “For some time now, we had nine countries, of which eight countries of UEMOA, Nigeria now Ghana, recently implemented the CET and we have five counties left.

    “Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea had the Ebola crisis that is why they could not come on board but now the crisis has been resolved and we are expecting them to come on board.

    “The Gambia also had some issues that affected the country’s customs administration which caused a delay in the enforcement of the CET and Cape Verde is also yet to implement the CET,” he said.

    Obideyi said that enactment of the common tariff by member states had so far demonstrated willingness to implement the common tariff in their countries.
    He explained that the CET would ensure transparency and facilitate the ease of doing business both within the sub-region and with third party countries.
    “Before the enforcement of the CET, at every border the goods are checked to know the tariff rates.

    “But now once it is done in one country movement of such goods become easy across borders of member states; it is one single tariff rate that applies, and with that business is quick.”

    He also said that the implementation of the common tariff would boost sub-regional trade which he said was between 10 to 14 per cent.
    “We are trying to double the trade with a number of programmes and support,”he said.

    He further said that the impact of the CET on trade within member states would be evaluated in the second year of its implementation.

    The CET is one of the instruments of harmonising ECOWAS member states and strengthening its Common Market.

    The ECOWAS CET has provision for temporary Import Adjustment Tax which was accommodated to allow countries to adjust to the scheme during the five-year transitional period ending in 2019.

    The CET is being implemented by member countries in phases.

    The first phase covers a period of five years, from 2015 to 2019, after which the scheme is expected to enter a more advanced phase. (NAN)


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  • Breaking: Wind of change blows across W'Africa as Nna Akufo Addo defeats John Mahama in Ghana's presidential election

    09/Dec/2016 // 454 Viewers

     

    Nana Akufo-Addo has defeated John Mahama, the incumbent president, in the Ghanaian presidential elections, according to media reports in the country.

    According to Joy News, one of the leading television stations in Ghana, Akufo-Addo maintains a lead of nearly one million votes, over Mahama, who has led the country for four years.

    Of 275 constituencies in the country, results have been collated from 251, and Akufo-Addo is leading with 5.268 million votes, while Mahama polled 4.367 million votes.

    “The John Mahama I know is somebody I believe is capable of rising to the occasion,” Akufo-Addo said, projecting that Mahama will concede the elections.

    Mahama on the otherhand has called on his supporters to respect the constitution and keep at peace till the results are in, adding that he would take the outcome of the polls in good fate.

    “Let us respect the Constitution. The EC is doing its work. Don’t let your spirit be down at all, we are a great party,” Mahama said.

    Kwesi Nduom, a presidential aspirant, who conceded to Akufo-Addo, said the electoral commission must not hold the nation to ransom, but must let the results out as soon as possible.

    The official results are expected to come in before Friday midnight.


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  • JAMMEH: Buhari to host West African leaders today to ensure safety of President-elect, peaceful hand over on January 19

    09/Jan/2017 // 4012 Viewers

     

    President Muhammadu Buhari will today host four West African leaders to a meeting aimed at avoiding violence and preserving democracy in The Gambia.

    The meeting is in line with his mandate as the mediator picked by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

    According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari, those to attend are the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama as, who is co-mediator, Liberian President Ellen Jphnson-Sirleaf, Senagalese President Macky Sall and the Sierra Leone vice president.

    The team is expected to ensure the safety of President-elect Adama Barrow and ensure a peaceful handover of power on January 19.

    The statement added: “The meeting in Abuja is following the one in Accra on the sidelines of the inauguration of that country’s President which expressed the readiness of the leaders of the sub-region to continue the pursuit of dialogue with the leaders of The Gambia.”


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  • International rights organizations have called on Gambia's government to free an ailing journalist and drop all charges against him

    09/Mar/2016 // 395 Viewers

     

    DAKAR, Senegal — International rights organizations urged Gambia's government on Wednesday to free an ailing journalist and drop all charges against him.

    Taranga FM Managing Director Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay has been arbitrarily detained since July without access to a lawyer or his family, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement.

    Ceesay was charged in August with six counts of sedition and publication of false news.

    Gambia Information Minister Sheriff Bojang told The Associated Press that by law he could not comment on the statement or case, as it is before the court.

    Authorities with the National Intelligence Agency arrested Ceesay on July 2 after he had used his phone to privately share a picture showing a gun pointed toward a photograph of President Yahya Jammeh, the groups said. Ceesay was not the author of the photo, which had been circulating on the internet, they said, adding that his station has been closed down several times.

    Ceesay was released on July 13 and rearrested July 17, the groups said.

    Corinne Dufka, West Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said Ceesay should not have been locked up, and "The deterioration in his health only underscores the urgent need to release him."

    Ceesay was hospitalized and diagnosed with an enlarged liver in January. In February, he was readmitted briefly for an asthma attack, the groups said.

    The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention last week called for his release and enforceable right to compensation. It also urged investigations into whether torture has been used.

    The rights groups Wednesday called on Gambia to amend laws that give authorities sweeping powers to arrest and detain critics.

    President Jammeh's rule since 1994 has been marked by accusations of rights violations.


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  • Gambian authorities discover body of opposition leader, Solo Sandeng

    09/Mar/2017 // 5217 Viewers

     

    Gambian authorities, on Thursday, discovered the body of opposition leader, Solo Sandeng, who died in custody during former autocrat Yahya Jammeh’s regime.

    Police spokesman Foday Conta, said Sandeng’s body was found near the western coastal village of Tanji and will undergo forensic investigation at a hospital in the capital, Banjul.

    Conta said that the police discovered the burial site based on testimonies by detained national intelligence agency officials, who had worked under Jammeh.

    Sandeng was arrested in April 2016 for leading a protest that called for electoral reforms.

    He died in custody shortly thereafter.

    The UN called for a probe into the deaths of Sandeng and other opposition activists at the time, but Sandeng’s body had disappeared.

    Jammeh, who had ruled the Islamic Republic for 22 years with an iron fist, is widely accused of human rights violations, including torture and arbitrary arrests.

    The autocrat caused weeks of political impasse by refusing to accept the result of the December 2016 presidential election which saw him lose power to Adama Barrow.

    After weeks of regional pressure and the threat of arrest by West African troops that had entered Gambia, Jammeh eventually conceded defeat and went into exile in Equatorial Guinea.

    Barrow took power on January 19. (NAN)


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  • Breaking: Again, Nigerian soldiers 'on the run' as one soldier slaughtered, two missing, 13 mortally wounded in fresh Boko Haram attack

    09/Mar/2017 // 10038 Viewers

     

    The Army has confirmed that one soldier died, two missing and 13 others are wounded in an ongoing operations to rid remnants of terrorists from their hide outs in Borno and North east generally.

    Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

    He said that the operation involved ambushes, cordon and search of the suspected remnants hiding places in the remote areas.

    Usman said that efforts were ongoing to locate the two missing soldiers.

    According to him, on Wednesday, troops of 159 Battalion Artillery Detachment based on information and confirmation on the presence of suspected Boko Haram terrorists at Tula Udah Forest, carried out heavy bombardment to neutralize them.

    “Similarly, based on tip-off on the presence of foreign elements of Boko Haram terrorists from Chad and Niger, troops carried out cordon and search operations at Gombe International Hotel, Gombe State.

    “However, nothing incriminating was found. More vigilance is being maintained in the area,’’ Usman said.

    He said during the operations, 505 people, including male, female and children were rescued, while nine arrests, including six suspected terrorists, two fraudsters and one drug peddler were arrested.

    Usman said that one Boko Haram camp was destroyed during the exercise and two vehicles recovered, adding that the owner of one of the recovered vehicles was also arrested.


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  • LIBERIA: Mystery illness hits LIBERIA, a type of meningitis - Health Minister raises alarm

    09/May/2017 // 376 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 9, 2017: (DGW) Medical samples from four of the victims of a disease in Liberia that initially baffled scientists have tested positive for a type of meningitis, the minister of health said.

    So far a total of 31 cases of the so-called mystery illness have been reported, including 13 deaths in an outbreak linked to the attendance of a religious leader’s funeral.

    While the symptoms are different from Ebola, the sudden deaths nevertheless stirred anxiety about an outbreak of the tropical illness which was often spread through burial rituals in the West African epidemic that ended less than a year ago.

    Seven specimens from the deceased tested positive for Neisseria meningitis, a particularly contagious type of bacteria, Bernice Dahn told reporters.

    “Based on these initial results from the CDC Atlanta (U.S. Centre for Disease Control), we believe that we are dealing with a probable outbreak of meningitis in Sinoe, which spread to Montserrado and Grand Bassa counties,” she added, while calling for calm.

    She said the government was investigating options for mass vaccinations against the illness, characterised by swelling of the membranes in the brain and spinal cord.

    Further laboratory analysis is under way.
    (Reuters/NAN)


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  • GAMBIA: Nationwide jubilation as President ADAMA BARROW fulfils major campaign promise, repositions country in int'l Community

    09/May/2017 // 2429 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 9, 2017: (DGW)Gambian diplomatic passport holders in the new visa regime are now to travel to the Russian Federation without visas, Gambia's Foreign Ministry reveals.

    This waiver follows bilateral agreement signed with Russia in the Gambian capital of Banjul on Friday last week aimed at strengthening diplomatic ties between the two countries.

    In a statement issued by Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Ousainou Darbo, the agreement will aid free movement with a view to enhancing economic cooperation between Gambia and Russia. 

    His Russian counterpart, Mickhai Bagnodov,said his country and The Gambia stand to benefit immesurrably under the new arrangement which is capable of laying the groundwork for socio-economic development with stability.

    Recall, President Adama Barrow has earlier reiterated his plan to rebuild The Gambia to give the country its pride of place in the international community which was severely weakened by Yahya Jammeh 22 years reign.


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  • Breaking: Tension, trouble brew in The Gambia as Yahya Jammeh rejects election results a week after

    10/Dec/2016 // 1885 Viewers

     

    A week after conceding defeat by his opponent in the presidential election, Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh has rejected the result. Citing abnormalities, Jammeh who lost to Adama Borrow of the opposition said he rejected the result after a thorough investigation and called for a fresh exercise.

    “I lament serious and unacceptable abnormalities which have reportedly transpired during the electoral process.

    “I recommend fresh and transparent elections which will be officiated by a God-fearing and independent electoral commission, ” Jammeh said on Saturday in a broadcast according to agency reports.

    The results of the election were revised by the country’s electoral commission on December 5 , when it emerged that the ballots for one area were added incorrectly, swelling Mr Barrow’s vote.

    The error, which also added votes to the other candidates, “has not changed the status quo” of the result, the commission said.

    Responding to Jammeh’s turn around, Barrow accused the incumbent of damaging democracy by refusing to accept the result. His transition team said the president-elect was safe.


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